Marketing? Trying to encourage someone to buy from you rather than
another seller - maybe they got a good deal on those gennys?
There are lots of times when someone will offer a discount on a product.
On Ebay, I tend to see it as a way to encourage someone to offer on your
product, with the assumption that they will end up buying yours even if
the offer price is a only a little lower
It's an offer, not a bid - the seller is not bound to accept an offer.
One that makes you a cup of tea and says 'there. there, dear'?
Or more likely, one purchased from TLC.
You're implying that CPS _aren't_ the manufacturers but simply an
importer of rebadged product. You may be right about that which is an
important consideration when you're hoping the company is an actual UK
manufacturer able to offer a better after sales service.
On new kit, it's either a 'bulk discount' or else the product is
about to be EoLed. If it's a middleman operation by a reseller, it's
usually to clear out slow moving inventory.
As long as the potential customer thinks the quality is going to be
on a par with similar, higher priced product, that's true enough.
It was the "25 days and 17 hours left to go" which led me to assume
it was an 'auction'. I didn't bother clicking the "make an offer"
link to delve any deeper.
The use of lower case does fit in with that hypothesis I suppose. :-)
The way it was tacked onto the end of the genset's useful attributes,
I thought it might have been a supplied 'accessory' item.
That makes more sense. I've just googled TLC and the first and only
hit points to an electrical company of that name. A quick perusal of
the switches and sockets selection fails to find any suitable
changeover switches. Perhaps I'd have to order a catalogue before
there's any chance of tracking one down (I'm not prepared to go to
that extreme just to satisfy idle curiousity).
I had to do a google search for the SDMO IPRO 3000E to find what the
actual continious max power output rating. It isn't a full 3KW, it's
2.8KW but it aught to cope with a 3KW at 240v electric kettle even if
it manages to supply the full 230v to the kettle (2.755KW load at
230v). When I was testing with that Aldi 2.8KVA genset, it just about
managed to power a 3KW kettle by virtue of the extra volt drop in the
cable taking the kettle voltage down to 221v (2.54KW). Istr the Aldi
genset had a max continuous rating of 2.5KW with the 2.8KVA being the
very short term peak.
The CPS unit looks more attractive with its peak of 3.5KW and max
continuous of 3KW but, even at 550 quid, that's an awfully large
investment for something that might only be test run 2 or 3 times a
year and never get used in anger for many years to come.
If Aldi ever did get round to selling a 3KVA inverter type genset for
300 odd quid or thereabouts, I might well be tempted but, for now,
it's a case of waiting for the opportunity to snatch one up at a
bargain, never to be repeated price.
Thanks for the link, Tony. That's satisfied my curiousity (£67.80 for
a 125A changeover switch! ). I'm guessing you had to use the search
facility to find this page. I couldn't find any links in their index
page to any of this stuff.
I knew changeover switches weren't cheap which is why I modified a
63A on/off with auxiliary 10A changeover contacts for use with the
ground floor ring main (10 Amp's is quite sufficient for the genset
connection) along with a couple of seperate 10A changeovers for the
two lighting circuits each with a 3A genset side fuse to avoid working
on the unswitched side of the Wylex 6 way CU.
I'm not going for an automatic "Whole House" changeover solution so
using 3 seperate switches is no great inconvenience (in fact it offers
a bit of extra flexibility).
I only got as far as mounting the big switch and the surface boxes
for the two lighting circuit changeover switches onto the backboard
before being forced to abandon the project due the insurmountable
shortcomings of that Aldi 2.8KVA genset. The project is now on hold
until I can get my hands on a suitable inverter genset at the right
Well, I was thinking in more general terms, even if it is their own
product, they are still competing on ebay with other sellers of other
Though these particular ones looked like badged products to me, even if
CPS also make their own stuff.
I think the idea of 'a normal retail price' is not a straight forward
thing anyway for lots of products It's more that there is a price range
that a seller will have, from 'as much as I can get away with, through,
what I'd like to sell it for' to 'the cheapest it's worth selling for'
If you want to get sales through Ebay or Amazon Marketplace then you may
well need to price lower than when you sell direct through your own
'Make an Offer' listings have to have a time limit I think. Buyer makes
an Offer, seller can accept or reject. Buyer may make another offer if
I see Tony has reposted the link
It's never felt like a cost effective option to me (though I can see for
some people living in more remote areas where interruptions to the
supply might be more frequent/longer it might be different) But I don't
think I've ever experienced anything more than a day at the most power
We have gas for cooking, freezers will stay fine for a quite a while,
and at worst food will go off and be thrown away. Chances are it will be
winter anyway, so can maybe just use outside :-)
Plenty of logs for heating at least one room well. Plenty of battery
torches and lamps and gas lamps and candles, and (gas and petrol stoves
for back up cooking)
On Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:21:46 +0100, Chris French
The longest outage we've ever experienced in our urban location has
been less than 4 hours in duration about 30 years ago, not too long
after we moved in and just after I acquired my first ever UPS, an
Emmerson 30 quasi sinewave jobby using a pair of 7AH alarm batteries.
Being careful not to shut it down, I moved it to the first half
landing and plugged in a lamp standard with a 13W CFL to provide
lighting between the hallway and 1st floor landing and into the half
landing toilet where the children sat on the loo seat to finish doing
their school homework that night.
The mains had failed just before I was about to head on out to my
local radioham club meeting. By the time I returned, the mains had
just been restored and the XYL reported that the little UPS had kept
the light powered throughout all that time (later testing with a 14W
load suggests it could have kept the 13W lamp going for a good 7 hours
- it might have only been providing a "Stepped Sinewave" but at least
the power conversion efficiency was somewhere on the right side of
I've amassed better UPSes since but none have ever actually been used
in anger. At one point, I had a total of 5 UPSes on the go but it was
costing me over 70 quid a year just in maintenance consumption alone.
When the batteries in the SmartUPS700 finally expired, I retired that
little vampire (20 watts with or without a fully charged battery pack
plugged in!) and ditto for an ancient UPSonic 600 which, at one point
had 6 7AH alarm batteries fitted (2 banks of 36v batteries). This unit
deserved to be permanently retired since it took just under 17W at its
lowest and just didn't treat its batteries very well.
This left me with that old Emmerson doing duty as power backup for
the Superhub, a Backups500 (single 7AH alarm battery and only 3 watts
maintenance consumption) protecting the N4F box and a SmartUPS2000
providing a protected mains supply to seperate 13A sockets around the
The SmartUPS2000 used a battery pack made up from 4 12v SLAs
(originally 17AH ones as fitted to the clip on battery case which I
didn't get with the unit). I rigged this up in the basement with four
cheap 36AH car batteries, along with a couple of spare banks made up
with 4 x 7AH alarm batteries. Whilst the batteries were still in good
condition I was able to log an autonomy of some 4 1/2 hours on a 400W
Unfortunately, car batteries are entirely unsuited to such continuous
float charging regime (13.8v per car battery) and start to suffer
increased self discharge leakage after only 6 months or so which
swiftly degrades into severe battery imbalance a few months further
It's a problem that afflicts SLAs but, in this case, it generally
takes 3 or 4 years for the first symptoms to start appearing, often
resulting in the pack being totally shagged after a maximum of five
years regardless of whether they'd ever been called upon to supply
I suspect a slight reduction from the 'standard' 13.8v per battery
down to 13.5v would extend the useful life somewhat (it's a compromise
between sulphation effect from under voltage and corrosion effect due
to excess voltage and it seems to me that the problem is excess
corrosion, warranting a slight reduction of the float voltage setting
to get a better balance between the "Rock and a Hard Place" those two
At the moment, that SmartUPS2000 is no longer providing any backup
power since the last of my remaining batteries (a set of 25AH SLAs
along with a bank of 7AH alarm batteries) finally expired about a year
ago. I just don't have the heart to invest in yet another set of
batteries knowing that they are just expensive consumables destined
for recycling after as little as 4 or 5 years, if I'm that lucky.
That cheap Aldi genset would have been an ideal solution to maintain
backup power for protracted periods if it hadn't been for the classic
behaviour of all such genset heads in the face of even a mildly
capacitive loading from the electronic kit.
It cost less than the price of a replacement battery pack from APC
and I could have just stuck with a set of much cheaper 7AH SLAs to
keep the system running long enough to set up and connect the
emergency generator. I'd still be renewing the 7AH SLAs about every
four years or so but I'd only be shelling out 50 or 60 quid instead of
something like 200 odd quid for the larger capacity batteries.
Although I could hitch up a 100AH battery to the UPS and get an
endurance time in the region of 8 to 9 hours on a 400W load, it's a
bloody expensive consumable to keep shelling out on every 4 or 5
years. Also, for longer outages than that, once the battery has
discharged, no more standby power. Adding a cheap emergency genset
into the mix makes far greater sense. It's just a great pity that your
ordinary common or garden genset just isn't able to cope with such
Well, when all's said and done, I _could_ manage without emergency
power provided the outage doesn't extend beyond 5 or 6 hours for the
sake of the fridge or 24/48 hours for the sake of the chest freezer.
However, I do have a few UPSes to save the day but only to bridge the
gap between noting the power outage and getting the emergency genset
running and connected (when and if I finally get my hands on a
suitable inverter genset at the right price).
We have a gas hob which also makes a very effective kitchen dining
room heater as well as three gas fires, two of which are style over
function affairs (they still provide heating, but not very
efficiently), along with gas CH & HW but only provided I can supply a
modest 100 watts or so for the pump and controller).
UK governments have been dragging their heels over deciding on a
realistic energy policy for over half a century now which means we
could see rolling blackouts and loss of gas supply if we have to face
another really severe winter.
I'd be less nervous about this possibility if I had a suitable
emergency generator to keep a few more of the 'luxuries' going. I
suppose I could make CPS an offer on their 750 quid genset and see if
they'll bite (just an idle thought right now - I need to do some more
research into CPS before committing myself).
Let me say first that I do not have a generator, and have no plans to
buy one. Reading Tony's paragraph above, I can quite see that one would
not want mains power feeding the generator, or the generator feeding
power out beyond the house.
So, in the event of a power cut, why not just turn off the incoming
mains before starting the generator, and then stop the generator before
turning the mains on again? In other words, if the main switch stops
power coming in, why wouldn't it stop power going out? Yes, I'm
ignoring earthing issues for simplicity.
Because it's not implicitly safe. One day someone will start up the
generator without disengaging the main supply switch. This will be day
mains has failed because your service cable got chopped in half by a
road gang outside.
It's always the most unlikley *never can happen* combinations of
circumstances that cause accidents - read some of the railway RAIB
They will. I believe that if it is a cold winter then there is very big
chance things will go tit's up.
You'll need a shotgun to keep the neighbours away when they get desperate
and venture out of their houses after 48 hours without a working TV.
I doubt it. The most that might happen is scheduled
shut downs of particular areas for specified times if just
forcing the big load users to shut down isnt enough.
And they wont turn a particular area off for long enough
so that the stuff in the fridges and freezers goes bad either.
How odd that that didn't happen the last time and they wont
leave the power off for anything like that long anyway, it makes
a lot more sense to leave a particular area off only long enough
so you don't see whats in the fridges and freezers go bad.
The most you might well see is a run
on TVs that don't need mains power.
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